Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden will return to Florida State for two games this fall for the first time since being forced out in 2009.
Bowden, who coached the Seminoles to two national titles over his 33-year career, has repeatedly said he did not want to be too much of a presence around the program in order to allow coach Jimbo Fisher to be able to do his job without looking over his shoulder.
Not only that, there were plenty of bitter feelings surrounding his departure. Bowden was forced to resign under pressure before coaching his team for the final time -- a 33-21 win in the Gator Bowl over West Virginia in January 2010. The Seminoles ended that season 7-6, the latest in a string of disappointing seasons that led to his departure.
But perhaps time has healed some open wounds. Bowden will be at Doak Campbell Stadium on Oct. 26 when the Seminoles play NC State and again on Nov. 16 for the homecoming game against Syracuse, when he will join members of his 1993 national championship team for a celebration of their 20th anniversary.
"What Bobby Bowden means to Florida State University cannot be measured or overstated," school president Eric J. Barron said in a statement. "Words like respect, sincerity, class, honesty, charm and humor come to mind, along with his remarkable 33-year stellar record coaching our football team. We look forward with much enthusiasm and excitement to his return to the FSU campus."
Bowden ended his career with a 389-129-4 record and a permanent place in Florida State football history. Fisher, who was named coach-in-waiting while serving as offensive coordinator under Bowden, just guided the Seminoles to an Orange Bowl win and has them back in the national conversation.
"I think it's great that coach Bowden is coming back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the national championship at Florida State," Fisher said in a statement. "He's one of the great coaches of all-time as well as a personal friend and mentor to me. He's meant so much to Florida State and me in my career. It's going to be a wonderful time for Florida State and coach Bowden. I could not be happier he'll be back with us."